Dicky's Doodles &Scribbles

Cartoons,editorials and comment about current events and more.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Daytona 500

The Daytona 500 is this Sunday. I am a long time racing fan and I have followed the sport since the 50’s. Daytona is special to me, as a fan. I don’t think I would call it the “Super Bowl” of racing as many do. It has become a historic event in it’s own right and I’m not too crazy about mixing metaphors anyway.
There has been a lot of ink and air time devoted to two big stories this year at Daytona. The first, and biggest story of the two, is that Toyota will be represented by several top teams this season.
This has some fans in a stir, and it doesn’t take much to get some racing fans all whipped up about something!
A lot of folks seem to think that it is wrong to allow a brand to race in the Nextel Cup, NASCAR’S top division, that is not “American.”
This in spite of the fact that Toyota has been racing for several years in the Craftsman Truck division. Also, foreign cars have raced in NASCAR’s top division before.
In 1954 a NASCAR Grand National event (Grand National was the name for the top division then, before Winston Cup or Nextel Cup,) in New Jersey had 13 Jaguars, five MG's, one Porsche, one Morgan and an Austin Healey entered in the race which was won by a Jaguar!
And Toyota probably makes more cars in the U.S. than either Ford, Chevrolet or Chrysler. Now I may be mistaken but isn’t Chrysler now owned by Daimler-Mercedes Benz?
The second big story is the cheating scandals which have affected several teams, including the Toyota of two time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip.
Waltrip’s car was found to have traces of a foreign substance, believed to be an illegal fuel additive, found on the intake manifold.
Waltrip’s team was hit by a big fine and a loss of points. He will compete in the race.
Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Scott Riggs and Elliot Sadler all were tagged for rules violations and fines and suspensions of crew chiefs were levied by NASCAR.
Again, this is nothing new in racing. Teams have been “stretching” the rules since racing began. I recall that A.J. Foyt and others were found to be violating the rules back in the early eighties or late seventies, I forget, for hiding bottles of nitrous oxide in their cars to be used for extra boosts of horse power at opportune moments.
Another year saw the officials discovering hidden gas tanks in cars giving cars a bit of insurance if they ran out of gas or a way to go a little further between pit stops.
Even today some suspicion is evident when some drivers seem to go further than it seems they should be able to do on a tank of gas.
There have been many other attempts to get around the rules and there always will be. Certainly NASCAR is right to enforce the rules but no one should be “shocked” when these violations are exposed.


At 9:11 PM , Anonymous midlife Mutant said...

Because my sister and her husband were attending, I actually watched part of the race today.

Round and round and round they went... well most of the time.. sometimes there was a crash here and there.

Knowing NOTHING about Nascar, I have to say I think Martin was robbed of his win.

At 9:44 PM , Blogger Dicky Neely said...

I was sure pulling for Mark Martin. He is the most respected driver in NASCAR. A lot of folks were pulling for him. I believe he is from Arkansas. He raced in the ASA in the midwest for many years before moving into NASCAR 20 years ago.


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